Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Valero Energy ( VLO) as a post-market leader candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Valero Energy as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • VLO has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $524.8 million.
  • VLO is up 2.4% today from today's close.

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More details on VLO:

Valero Energy Corporation operates as an independent petroleum refining and marketing company in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. It operates through two segments, Refining and Ethanol. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.5%. VLO has a PE ratio of 9. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Valero Energy a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Valero Energy has been 5.9 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Valero Energy has a market cap of $32.6 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The stock has a beta of 1.49 and a short float of 3.1% with 2.28 days to cover. Shares are up 33% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Valero Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 30.09% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, VLO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • VALERO ENERGY CORP has improved earnings per share by 21.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, VALERO ENERGY CORP increased its bottom line by earning $6.98 versus $4.97 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($7.18 versus $6.98).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 16.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $828.00 million to $964.00 million.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.14, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.

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